Farm Subsidiocy

“The National Trust, a major landowner, recently called for complete reform of the British farm subsidy system after Brexit, ending payments for simply owning land and only rewarding farmers who improve the environment and help wildlife. The NFU criticised the plan, saying food production is vital.” (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/25/british-wildlife-needs-new-laws-to-protect-it-post-brexit-poll-shows)

There really should be a reward system for producing food, such as, say, selling it for money.

Badge of Success

“Almost 1,500 badgers were killed during last year’s badger cull, according to Defra. The government described the effort as a success.” (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/23/badger-cull-protesters-change-tactics-in-response-to-expansion)

Ah, the answer to my question “what is the motivation for culling badgers?” – ‘Success’ is not measured as fewer cows with bovine TB, it’s a great big pile of uninfected, inhumanely killed, badger carcasses.

Five ways to take action against the cull, from dairy boycotts to non-violent protests.

Goosed

“The nuclear industry and the government claim Hinkley is a good option if we want to ‘keep the lights on’ – but is it really the golden goose they claim it to be?” (http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/nuclear/five-reasons-why-hinkley-not-golden-goose-20160811)

Don’t be fooled by a tasty goose;
You’ll only get a basted noose.
The government’s playing fast and loose,
Through foreign investors’ ghastly truce,
With failed technology that faced misuse.
So even if it bakes your hoose,
All you’ll get from this hasty ruse,
Is wasted chance and pricey juice.
Whatever government excuse,
In truth, it’s all pure nasty goose.

Stuff the goose: please sign and share Greenpeace’s petition.

Greef

Coral “reefs can’t be made whole again: if they recover at all it will be slowly, and in the face of ongoing warming that seems unlikely. But at the very least, the nations that sustained this damage should be compensated. Exxon and its brethren made record profits in the last decades of denial and deceit; that money should rightfully go to pay for the damage it caused, and to build the energy systems that can power our lives without destruction.” (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/17/the-coral-die-off-crisis-is-a-climate-and-exxon-fired-the-gun)

If Exxon makes any reparations for knowing about global warming 40 years ago, quietly protecting its business infrastructure, while simultaneously funding climate denial groups, to protect its market, …it will be slowly, and in the face of ongoing warming that seems unlikely.

Sicker and Thicker

“The UK government-funded study … is the first to link the controversial insecticides to the decline of many bee species in real-world conditions. … The study cannot show a causal relationship between neonicotinoid use and the decline of wild bees, says … a spokesperson for Bayer Crop Science.” (http://www.nature.com/news/controversial-insecticides-linked-to-wild-bee-declines-1.20446)

Expected response from UK government? “Although this study adds to the growing pool of evidence that neonicotinoids adversely affect bees, until we can speak to bees directly, to hear why they’re getting sicker and thicker, we can’t punish the agrochemical industry unduly.”

Collateral Bordage

“Trump says in a video on his campaign website, ‘It will be a great wall. It will do what it is supposed to do: keep illegal immigrants out.’ …
Far from being a barren wasteland, the US–Mexico borderlands have some of the highest diversity of mammals, birds and plants in the continental United States and northern Mexico — including many threatened species.
A wall could divide species that make a home in both nations. Bighorn sheep, for example…
Birds that rarely fly, such as roadrunners, or those that swoop low to the ground, such as pygmy owls, could also have trouble surmounting the wall.” (http://www.nature.com/news/trump-s-border-wall-pledge-threatens-delicate-desert-ecosystems-1.20431)

But for sure Trump also has a plan for all the ‘wall-kill’. “Short on detail”, long on sheep.

Badgers of Mass Destruction

“The assumptions about badgers and bTB, like those fabled and non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction that led us to invade Iraq, have become an accepted ‘truth’ on which to build government policies.” (http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2987993/why_are_badgers_always_at_the_head_of_the_blame_queue.html)

So, instead of asking “how are badgers infecting cattle?”, if we ask “what is infecting cattle with bovine TB?” or “how might cattle be infecting badgers?” now that would be heresy.

Not Slick

“The UK government’s representative for maritime and salvage, said up to 52 tonnes, more than 50,000 litres, of [diesel] oil could have leaked from the [oil rig’s] two breached tanks, which salvage teams discovered on Wednesday. …
‘There is no oil at the moment on the sea surface. The fact that the tanks have been breached, that oil has long gone now, most of it will have evaporated on the Monday morning.'” (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/11/thousands-litres-diesel-spilled-grounded-rig-transocean-winner)

Evaporated? No problem, then; like petrol stations are allowed to vent fumes to atmosphere without limit. Good old ‘bury it, wash it downstream, vent it’ thinking.

Eagle Eight

“These eight birds have all disappeared in an area where driven grouse moor management dominates the landscape, and where there have been many previous cases of illegal killing of protected raptors, including the poisoning of a golden eagle and a white-tailed eagle as recently as 2010.
Given the reliability of the transmitters, the chance of so many birds disappearing over such a short timescale without some kind of human interference is so small as to be negligible. The pattern we see here is consistent with the birds having been killed and the transmitters destroyed.” (http://www.rspb.org.uk/media/releases/423406-satellite-tagged-golden-eagles-disappearing-in-the-monadhliath-mountains)

“I have instructed officials to analyse the evidence from around 90 surviving and missing satellite-tagged eagles, to discover if there is a pattern of suspicious activity. … The public rightly expects all businesses in Scotland to obey the law. Let me be clear: grouse shooting is no exception.” (http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Eagle-disappearance-review-2881.aspx)

Let’s not leap to any conclusions: this could be the work of extreme conservationists, systematically bumping off birds of prey in the vicinity of grouse moors over decades in a bid to undermine the inglorious twelfth. Or alien abductions. Or spontaneous combustion.

If you’re cynical of the grouse shooting industry’s hand-wringing over these unfortunate but unconnected crimes, please consider signing and sharing the petition to ban driven grouse shooting in the UK and the petition to license gamebird shooting in Scotland – or read more about the case at Missing Hen Harriers: time for zero tolerance.

Climate Fear

“In the case of climate communications there is strong evidence that messages dependent on anticipatory fear are often rejected. Those disposed to believe them may actively ignore them in order to defend themselves against anxiety.” (http://www.theecologist.org/campaigning/2987866/how_the_remainers_got_it_so_wrong_the_lessons_of_climate_change_campaigning.html)

We’re more afraid of our fear of climate change than of climate change itself.
Somewhere in that suicidally neurotic irony must lie a strategy… Or at least the word ‘ridiculous’. (‘Ridiculous clinatey’ for anagram fans, and I shall figure out what ‘clinatey’ means; it could be the key to all this…)